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No Extension of Unemployment Benefits

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After passing a trillion dollar bill that keeps the government open, Congress has gone back on break without restoring unemployment benefits to the one-and-a-half million Americans whose checks stopped coming at the end of December. ABC News reports Illinois Democratic senator Dick Durbin says, "We may be leaving for a few days, but simply to take the message back home -- to rally our troops, to rally our people."  Durbin says Republicans are standing in the way of extended benefits. Speaker John Boehner rejected calls by Democrats to keep the House in session, saying he's been waiting for the Senate to agree on a bill. That effort derailed this week.
On Thursday, Indiana Senator Dan Coats, along with six other Republican Senators introduced legislation as a stand alone bill that would fully pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for three-months.
Additional details of the Responsible Unemployment Compensation Act of 2014:
  • Repeals military retirement cost-of-living reduction included in December's budget agreement.

  • Fully offsets the three-month extension by spreading savings proposed by the Majority across the current 10-year budget window. This legislation exempts Medicare providers from further cuts and includes specific language to ensure that sequestration of defense resources is not increased.

  • Reduces weeks of eligibility for emergency unemployment tiers 1 and 2, which reduces total state and federal unemployment from 73 weeks to 57 weeks.

  • Eliminates overlapping payments for unemployment insurance benefits and Social Security disability benefits.


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